Writing your tech CV is much more than just putting your work experience down on paper. No matter how skilled and hirable you are, if your CV doesn’t do you justice, then you might have a hard time getting picked from the rest of the pile.
Recruiters receive and review countless applications on a regular basis. But what do we look out for in a CV? What makes your CV effective and increase your chance of getting invited for an interview? Here are 4 easy steps to consider before you submit that CV:
Keep it clean, simple and structured
Effective developers practice clean coding, and it is also best to apply it in writing your tech CV. First, you need to use a font that’s easy on the eyes. Funky fonts, unnecessary bold texts and changes in size are such a turn off. Next, clearly divide the sections of your CV. Break it down to contact information, summary, work history with project specifics, skills, trainings and achievements, and educational background. Lastly, make your content brief but concise. Remember to always make your CV readable and easy for recruiters to pick out key information.
Dates tell stories
As vital as other key information in your CV, employment dates also play a big role in understanding your work history. Not only does it show the duration of your jobs, it also serves as a timeline of your entire career development. Best way to plot your work history is through reverse chronological order. This means that your most recent job is listed first, followed by each of your previous jobs in order by date. This format provides a logical history of your work experiences and makes it easier for recruiters to better gauge your staying power and also identify gaps if there are any.
Talk about gaps, you must understand how they affect your application, so make sure you can back it up. It is wise to indicate on your CV the things you did during these periods if they have something to do with career or personal improvement. If you enrolled in some self-development courses, attended career trainings, or did freelance jobs, these things are also worth mentioning and can even leave a good impression.
It’s a CV, not a resume
Rule of thumb: CVs are longer and more detailed than resumes. To effectively give recruiters and the hiring authority a better picture of your technical competency, you need to include your project specifics. Give the readers an overview of the projects you’ve undertaken by providing not just the project names but also the descriptions, your roles and responsibilities, the duration of each project, and an outline of the technologies and tools you’ve used. Providing all these information saves time and ensures a smoother recruitment process.
A lot of applicants are guilty in misrepresenting some parts of their CV, especially when it comes to their skills or knowledge, to make their CVs look impressive and increase their chances of getting hired. The result? It backfires one way or another. I can’t stress this enough, but please be realistic with all the information you put on your CV. Having to list a lot of skills on paper seems like a good idea, but at least be honest with it. Don’t exaggerate if you only know the basics, and in a similar way, don’t play it down. If you’re really good on a specific skill, at least make it clear on your CV. Pro tip: for each skill, rate yourself honestly on a scale of 1-10 as 10 being the highest and include the number of years of experience.
In applying for a job, we put our best foot forward, and one way of doing this is through a well-crafted CV. Make sure your CV represents the real you, as your application is often your one and only chance to impress a potential employer.
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